Jul 19, 2019

Dan Le Batard denounces Trump, rips ESPN's no-politics policy

Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN

ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard denounced the scene at President Trump's latest rally during his Thursday show, calling the chants of "send her back" directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) "un-American" and "deeply offensive."

The big picture: In doing so, Le Batard also blasted his own network's no-politics policy, which ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro doubled down on back in May, and called it "cowardly."

What he said:

"There's a racial division in this country that's being instigated by the president and we here at ESPN haven't had the stomach for that fight."
"Jemele [Hill] did some things on Twitter and ... all of a sudden nobody talks politics on anything unless we can use one of these sports figures as a meat-shield in the most cowardly way possible to discuss these subjects."
"We won't talk about it unless Russell Wilson is saying something about it on his Instagram page. Then we have the power to run with it. Weak-a-- shield."

Go deeper: Trump's premeditated racism is central to his 2020 strategy

Go deeper

ESPN reminds employees of no-politics policy after host denounces Trump

Photo: Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

ESPN reminded its employees in an internal memo to refrain from expressing political opinions on air after radio host Dan Le Batard denounced President Trump's racist tweets and chants of "send her back" directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar at a recent rally, AP reports.

The big picture: Le Batard's comments challenged the network's no-politics policy, which was brought into the media spotlight 2 years ago when former anchor Jemele Hill tweeted that Trump was a "white supremacist" and a "bigot," prompting the White House to demand she be fired. Hill apologized and was suspended. She now works at The Atlantic covering the intersection of sports, race and culture. ESPN has yet to publicly announce any repercussions for Le Batard's comments.

Keep ReadingArrowJul 21, 2019

AOC: Trump's immigration policies are really about ethnicity and racism

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said at a New York City town hall Saturday that President Trump's "go back" tweets targeting her and 3 other Democratic congresswomen of color show his hardline immigration policies are really about racism.

Once you start telling American citizens to quote 'go back to your own countries,' this tells you that this president's policies are not about immigration, it's about ethnicity and racism."

Why it matters: Trump's associates told Axios' Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen that race-baiting is central to his 2020 strategy. Per Axios' Sara Fischer, much of Trump's Facebook spending is focused heavily on immigration messaging, as he targets older, white voters and Latino voters.

The big picture: During her town hall, broadcast on The National Desk's Facebook page, Ocasio-Cortez rejected Trump's claim that he tried to quiet a "send her back" chant directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) during a North Carolina campaign rally on Wednesday.

"Roll back the tape. ... He relished it. He took it in and he's doing this intentionally."

Go deeper: A tough time to be a Trump supporter

Keep ReadingArrowJul 21, 2019

Obama shares ex-staffers' op-ed accusing Trump of poisoning democracy

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama shared Saturday a Washington Post op-ed by his former staffers, which criticizes President Donald Trump for his treatment of minority groups and for derogatory comments about 4 congresswomen of color.

"We stand with [the] congresswomen ... as well as all those currently under attack by President Trump, along with his supporters and his enablers, who feel deputized to decide who belongs here — and who does not. ... We refuse to sit idly by as racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy."
— Obama former staffers, Washington Post op-ed
Go deeperArrowJul 28, 2019